USA TODAY Features Photo Show of Catalina Island as a Winter Holiday Destination

In the winter months, Catalina Island, located just 22 miles off the coast of Southern California, is a perfect winter visitor destination, especially during the holidays. A photo gallery  is currently featured on USA TODAY's 10Best home page.

 View on Avalon Harbor, Catalina Island   © Joanne DiBona

View on Avalon Harbor, Catalina Island   © Joanne DiBona


Southern California's Enchanting Catalina Island--The Pleasures of an Off-Season Visit

 
 A winter rainbow provides a magical backdrop above the historic Avalon Casino on Catalina Island. Photo:  Joanne DiBona  

A winter rainbow provides a magical backdrop above the historic Avalon Casino on Catalina Island. Photo:  Joanne DiBona  

Fall and winter are the perfect seasons for a visit to Catalina Island, located just 22 miles off the shore of Southern California. Summer crowds are gone, and Catalina is relaxing, romantic, and filled with all sorts of activities and events for every taste. Read how my husband and I spent our December birthdays on this magical island. San Diego Union-Tribune, Catalina Without the Crowds, October 18, 2015. 

See a complete PHOTO LIBRARY of all the images of this trip to Avalon and the Catalina Backcountry.

 


Catalina Island: California's Island Resort

Although just 22 miles off the Southern California coast,

Catalina Island

remains a world apart from the hustle and bustle of the mainland. The town of Avalon, founded in 1887 as a seaside resort, evokes a charm that is undeniably unique and captivating. It's no surprise that it was a favorite stomping ground for the rich and famous over the decades. View a SLIDE SHOW to see this magical island through my eyes (and camera lens)!

 The picturesque harbor in Avalon, Catalina Island   © Joanne DiBona       

A Whale of an Adventure Off the Southern California Coast

Winter marks the beginning of whale watching season in Southern California. From January through April, Pacific grey whales can be viewed relatively close to shore as they make their way to mate and calf in the warm lagoons of Mexico's Baja California. Whale watching cruises, many of which offer unique experiences, are available from ports along the entire Southern California coast.

Enjoy a photo slide show at the 10Best.com/USA Today link:

  Photo courtesy Carla Mitroff,  Dana Wharf Sportfishing & Whale Watching

Photo courtesy Carla Mitroff, Dana Wharf Sportfishing & Whale Watching

 

Where in the World is Oxnard, California?

Despite its unusual name, Oxnard is a hip, happening, and affordable visitor destination in southern California. Located an hour north of Los Angeles on California's Central Coast, Oxnard boasts seven miles of white sandy beaches, a picturesque harbor, farm-to-table international cuisine, outstanding museums, wine tasting, and a historic downtown district.

 Oxnard California, Beach Scene   © Joanne DiBona

Oxnard California, Beach Scene   © Joanne DiBona

See all that Oxnard offers the visitor on our 10Best/USA Today Link.